Secondary Bracing Ligands Drive Heteroleptic Cuboctahedral PdII12 Cage Formation.
The structural complexity of self-assembled metal-organic capsules can be increased by incorporating two or more different ligands into a single discrete product. Such complexity can be useful, by enabling larger, less-symmetrical, or more guests to be bound. Here we describe a rational design strategy for the use of subcomponent self-assembly to selectively prepare a heteroleptic cage with a large cavity volume (2631 Å3) from simple, commercially available starting materials. Our strategy involves the initial isolation of a tris(iminopyridyl) PdII3 complex 1, which reacts with tris(pyridyl)triazine ligand 2 to form a heteroleptic sandwich-like architecture 3. The tris(iminopyridyl) ligand within 3 serves as a "brace" to control the orientations of the labile coordination sites on the PdII centers. Self-assembly of 3 with additional 2 was thus directed to generate a large PdII12 heteroleptic cuboctahedron host. This new cuboctahedron was observed to bind multiple polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon guests simultaneously.
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Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/P027067/1)